Buy New

Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
Buy Used
Used - Very Good See details
Price: 1.78

More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

Tell the Publisher!
Id like to read this book on Kindle

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

Bringing the House Down: A Family Memoir [Paperback]

David Profumo
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
Price: 7.22 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
You Save: 2.77 (28%)
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Only 2 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Want it tomorrow, 26 July? Choose Express delivery at checkout. Details


Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover --  
Paperback 7.22  

Book Description

12 July 2007

David Profumo was just seven when his father, who had been Secretary of State for War, resigned from the Macmillan government. Despite the furore and humiliation that followed, his parents famously stayed together - and now, forty years on, their son has written this long-awaited account of their family life before, during and after the sensational events of 1963.

Drawing on diaries, letters and other memorabilia never before made public, Bringing The House Down describes their background and careers before they met. After an apprenticeship in Hollywood during her teenage years, the beautiful Valerie Hobson went on to star in numerous British films before her stage triumph in 'The King and I'; John Profumo had been the youngest MP during the Second World War, became a Brigadier at the age of thirty, and was rapidly rising through the ranks of the Conservative party. This is the story of their complicated courtship and volatile marriage, the destruction of their glamorous lifestyle and their endurance of the aftermath.

By turns intimate, caustic and poignant, their only child's personal memoir of their three lives together not only puts flesh on the bones of the old family skeleton but also offers a remarkable portrait of a love affair that somehow survived in a world turned upside down.

Frequently Bought Together

Bringing the House Down: A Family Memoir + Secrets and Lies
Buy the selected items together
  • Secrets and Lies 17.99

Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: John Murray (12 July 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0719566096
  • ISBN-13: 978-0719566097
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 318,700 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


'[Profumo] has written an elegantly sorrowful account of his family's great shame' (Peter McKay, Evening Standard)

'Painful to write, moving to read, this beautifully crafted account will not be the final word on the Profumo affair, but shows that, behind its continuing fascination as the arch political scandal lies a long trail of human misery' (Independent on Sunday)

'Elegiac and evocative volume' Sunday Telegraph / Seven (Sunday Telegraph / Seven)

'It certainly has all the excitement, neurosis and edginess of a book that needed to be written... gritty, heartfelt and is a real book, by a real writer, about real people' (Mail on Sunday (Book of the Week review by Craig Brown, 5 out of 5 stars))

'An intimate, perky, donnishly literate memoir... It is a rather infectious read, elegantly written, often funny, sometimes caustic' (Times)

'Gentle, touching, wry' (Guardian)

'Profumo's book... restores a context to a story that has so long had a life of its own. And it offers a measured and affecting insight into what it was like to be a seven-year-old in the eye of the original tabloid storm' (Observer)

'A fascinating, gripping tale' (Daily Express)

'David Profumo is an outstandingly witty, stylish and original writer. In this bracingly honest and frequently sparkling family memoir, he has really excelled himself. Indeed, I would not hesitate to describe Bringing the House Down as a masterpiece' (Hugh Massingberd, Country Life)

'Brilliant, intimate radio' (New Statesman, on Radio 4 Book of the Week)

'His family memoir is clear-eyed, beautifully written, often painful to read, and sometimes very funny indeed' (Stephen Robinson, Daily Telegraph)

'Intensely observant and acutely perceptive ... hugely literate and sophisticated' (Peregrine Worsthorne, Spectator)

'Searingly honest... David Profumo has written a revelatory book, and all others that purport to deal with the scandal are at a stroke rendered redundant in their narrowness. This one excels, above all, as a study of human nature in some of its most intriguing and arresting forms' (Simon Heffer, Literary Review)

'[An] honest and compelling book ... Bringing the House Down is notably well written, vivid and easy to read.' (Ian Gilmour, London Review of Books)

'An intimate, unsentimental account of the 20th century's greatest sex scandal' (Sebastian Shakespeare, Tatler)

Book Description

The first ever personal account of the family at the heart of the Profumo Affair

Sell a Digital Version of This Book in the Kindle Store

If you are a publisher or author and hold the digital rights to a book, you can sell a digital version of it in our Kindle Store. Learn more

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bought on a whim, glad I did! 4 Aug 2007
By Kitten
When it's raining in Aberystwyth and you're stuck in your caravan, desperate for something meaty to read, and all the other in vogue autobiographies have proven too frothy, then reach for this. It has bite, it has depth, it is incredibly well-written. This is the story of the Profumo family , and it's more than just THAT scandal. It's the story of a marriage, a family, politics, the world of showbiz, upper class mores and so much more. I bought it on a whim, and was glad I did. It has been my read of the summer.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
4.0 out of 5 stars The Numero Uno British Sex Scandal 23 April 2014
I purchased this book in 2007 and I have just read it. I was too young to actually remember it unfolding but anyone who has had a bit of education would find it hard not to have heard the name Profumo...I loved the title which suggested that the author was not going to be too sober about it. Also this is the only Profumo side of the story. At first I found the author rather pretentious in the way he was littering every page with Latin phrases and classical and literary references. There was no way I could enjoy the book my constantly having to open a dictionary and so I have underlined the words I don't know and will look them up later and maybe I will learn something . But I am very sure that most of them were totally unnecessary and I wonder who he was trying to prove himself to.

Anyway I warmed to him as the book went on and I felt that he was being incredibly open and honest about things from his perspective. It was also an insight into upper class lifestyle. Unfortunately or fortunately the Profumo family will never see this story die. Valerie appeared to be the most complex character whereas Jack Profumo himself was almost too simple and uncomplicated to be the central character. I really enjoyed reading the book and had a lot of sympathy for the author who seems to have learned quite well how to live with his name. I wonder what his views were on the latest Lloyd Webber show Stephen Ward the musical...I think it closed early!
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bringing the house down 18 Feb 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
David Profumos account of his parents marriage and his childhood is somewhat marred by his use of vocabulary and Latin quotations.Although it is very well written and the events of the swinging sixties scandal well covered,I couldn't help but be left with the impression that the author was more concerned with showing off his undoubtedly superior education.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A sixties scandal revisited 4 April 2011
By Shez
This book offers a view of the Profumo affair from the family's perspective, although it also covers the life stories of both of the author's parents. In that respect it is quite interesting and enjoyable. David Profumo, however, feels the need to include french phrases to describe many situations, and the translations are not included, which becames more and more irritating as the book progresses. He does however offer (in brackets) the little known fact that many Bangladeshis live in the east end of London! It also appears that Mr. Profumo was given a thesaurus for Christmas, judging by the inclusion of so many obscure words. In short, I think that this book would have benefited from a more robust editor.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars How badly can a book be written? 30 Oct 2009
Given the theme of the relationship between Valerie Hobson and John Profumo and the whole Profumo crisis it is extraordinary how dull this book is. What a shame. it is long-winded, chaotic, self-centred, pretentious and competes for worst book of the year. Don't waste your money
Was this review helpful to you?
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category